Saturday, January 05, 2008
Kathi Wolfe on Poetry, Community, and Split This Rock!
Auden famously said that poetry makes nothing happen.
Some poets say that poetry shouldn't be engaged with politics–that a poem shouldn't show concern for social justice. Language, craft–aesthetics is the be all and end all of art, they say.
Now is the time to prove them and even Auden wrong.
As I write this, the Iraq War, the sub-prime mortgage crisis, racism and hate crimes are word-worms swimming in our heads.
Poets aren't legislators. We can't wave a magic wand and stop any of these things. But, in community, we can raise our voice against these evils.
I do not mean that we should write boring, eat-your-spinach-or-else sermons or rants. This would bore us to death.
I mean that we should make art–create well-crafted, beautiful, mysterious, provocative-moving poems.